US Politics in Trump era Public date: 14.11.2019 12:15:01

2 Aug 2019

Military retirement program could lose funding for Trump’s border wall

The Supreme Court decided last week that Department of Defense funding could be used to construct sections of President Donald Trump's border wall.  Notably, it said about $224 million would be taken from the Blended Retirement System, which combines elements of the military's retirement system with a system offering benefits similar to civilian 401(k) programs. Other programs set to significantly lose funding: $604 million that was supposed to support Afghan security forces; $251 million in Pentagon funds for destroying US chemical weapons; and about $343 million "in spending from Air Force weapons programs where officials have negotiated reductions or canceled systems,".
The Supreme Court decided last week that Department of Defense funding could be used to construct sections of President...

Publisher: The Intercept

Author:

5 Jun 2019

Ginni Thomas, Wife of Clarence Thomas, Launches New Right-Wing Culture War

Conservative activist Virginia “Ginni” Thomas is launching yet another project to wage war on multiple fronts of America’s most heated cultural and political debates. This time, however, her plan will include a project to “protect President Trump” using at least two new campaign-related political entities, according to a presentation obtained by The Intercept and Documented.
Conservative activist Virginia “Ginni” Thomas is launching yet another project to wage war on multiple fronts of...
18 Feb 2019

Brett Kavanaugh’s Dishonest Anti-Abortion Dissent

Kavanaugh's first Supreme Court dissent is a mess of omissions and misrepresentations. What is perhaps less obvious, at least at first glance, is the level of intellectual dishonesty baked into a four-page dissent penned by the court’s newest justice, Brett Kavanaugh. Kavanaugh voted along with Justices Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito, and Neil Gorsuch to deny the stay, but was the only justice to try to explain his thinking in writing. If he wanted to maintain the fidelity-to-precedent fiction he peddled at his confirmation hearings, it probably would have been better if he had stayed silent. The document is a mess of omissions and misrepresentations dressed up to appear anodyne.
Kavanaugh's first Supreme Court dissent is a mess of omissions and misrepresentations. What is perhaps less obvious, at...

Publisher: NYTimes

Author:

24 Dec 2018

Roberts, Leader of Supreme Court’s Conservative Majority, Fights Perception That It is Partisan

In his first 13 years on the Supreme Court, Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr.’s main challenge was trying to assemble five votes to move the court to the right though there were only four reliably conservatives justices. Now he faces a very different problem. With the retirement of Justice Anthony M. Kennedy and his replacement by Justice Brett M. Kavanaugh, the chief justice has the votes he needs on issues like abortion, racial discrimination, religion and voting. At the same time, he has taken Justice Kennedy’s place as the swing vote at the court’s ideological center, making him the most powerful chief justice in 80 years.
In his first 13 years on the Supreme Court, Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr.’s main challenge was trying to assemble...

Publisher: CNBC

Author:

19 Dec 2018

Dozens of complaints against Brett Kavanaugh are dismissed

Federal judges reviewing complaints lodged against Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh said Tuesday that the allegations against the former federal appeals court judge are "serious" but that they must dismiss them without determining their merits because of Kavanaugh's October confirmation by the U.S. Senate.
Federal judges reviewing complaints lodged against Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh said Tuesday that the...
18 Dec 2018

Alito cut the legs out of the latest attack on Obamacare — and didn’t even know he did it

Hobby Lobby is the single most significant court victory ever achieved by America’s religious right. Before Hobby Lobby, religious conservatives could not wield their faith to undercut the rights of other people. After Hobby Lobby conservative religious objections may be used to narrow the rights of third-parties. Yet a passage in Justice Samuel Alito’s opinion for the Court in Hobby Lobby could — or at least, should — take on an entirely unexpected significance after Reed O’Connor, a partisan operative turned federal judge, struck down the entire Affordable Care Act on Friday in a case called Texas v. United States.
Hobby Lobby is the single most significant court victory ever achieved by America’s religious right. Before Hobby...

Publisher: Vox

Author:

4 Dec 2018

George H.W. Bush’s presidency: what it says about Trump and Kavanaugh

The 41st and 45th presidents may have differed greatly in their approach to politics. But when it comes to their legacies, one thing is exactly the same: Both nominated men to the Supreme Court who would be accused of sexual misconduct, and both stood behind those men in their confirmation battles. Clarence Thomas has now served on the Supreme Court for 27 years, his decisions affecting Americans long after Bush, a one-term president, left office. Brett Kavanaugh is also likely to serve on the Court for decades, long outlasting Trump’s presidency no matter what happens in 2020.
The 41st and 45th presidents may have differed greatly in their approach to politics. But when it comes to their...

Publisher: NYTimes

Author:

22 Nov 2018

Chief Justice Defends Judicial Independence After Trump Attacks ‘Obama Judge’

Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. defended the independence and integrity of the federal judiciary on Wednesday, issuing a statement rebuking President Trump’s criticism of a judge who had ruled against the administration’s asylum policy. The chief justice seemed particularly offended by Mr. Trump’s assertion that Judge Jon S. Tigar, of the United States District Court in San Francisco, was “an Obama judge.”
Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. defended the independence and integrity of the federal judiciary on Wednesday, issuing...
7 Oct 2018

D.C. Circuit sent complaints about Kavanaugh’s testimony to Chief Justice Roberts

Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. has received more than a dozen judicial misconduct complaints in recent weeks against Brett M. Kavanaugh, who was confirmed as a Supreme Court justice Saturday, but has chosen for the time being not to refer them to a judicial panel for investigation.
Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. has received more than a dozen judicial misconduct complaints in recent weeks against...
2 Oct 2018

Kavanaugh clerk hire casts light on link to judge forced to quit in #MeToo era

Last year, before he became a supreme court nominee, Brett Kavanaugh hired the son of a close friend to serve as his clerk, even though the clerk had not earned a spot on the Yale Law Journal, as almost all Kavanaugh’s previous Yale clerks had. The decision to hire Clayton Kozinski, son of the now disgraced judge Alex Kozinski, smacked of the kind of cronyism that is rife in federal courts. It was especially common for Kavanaugh, who not only had a reputation for hiring “model-like” female clerks, but also the children of powerful friends and allies.
Last year, before he became a supreme court nominee, Brett Kavanaugh hired the son of a close friend to serve as his...
26 Sep 2018

Trump attacks second Kavanaugh accuser, saying she ‘has nothing’ and was ‘totally inebriated’

President Trump on Tuesday attacked the second woman who has accused Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct, dismissing her account because she was “totally inebriated and all messed up,” and accused Democrats of playing a “con game” in an attempt to derail his Supreme Court nominee.
President Trump on Tuesday attacked the second woman who has accused Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct,...

Publisher: Vox

Author:

22 Sep 2018

Brett Kavanaugh: Trump nominee facing new scandal after Ed Whelan tweets

On Thursday night, conservative legal operative Ed Whelan sent a series of tweets suggesting that the sexual assault allegations against Brett Kavanaugh were likely a case of mistaken identity. His evidence was that a high school classmate of Kavanaugh’s kind of looked like him, and lived in a childhood home that sounded similar to the home where Kavanaugh’s accuser, Christine Blasey Ford, described the assault taking place.
On Thursday night, conservative legal operative Ed Whelan sent a series of tweets suggesting that the sexual assault...
22 Sep 2018

‘Kavanaugh will be on the U.S. Supreme Court’: McConnell just erased any doubt about Republicans’ intentions to hear Ford out

A big reason Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh’s accuser says she doesn’t want to testify in the Senate without first having her claims investigated by the FBI is she doesn’t think she’ll be treated objectively and fairly by politicians. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) just thoroughly justified Christine Blasey Ford’s concerns. In comments Friday, he laid plain his intention to put Kavanaugh on the Supreme Court, apparently no matter what Ford has to share.
A big reason Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh’s accuser says she doesn’t want to testify in the Senate without first having...
21 Sep 2018

‘No accident’ Brett Kavanaugh’s female law clerks ‘looked like models’, Yale professor told students

A top professor at Yale Law School who strongly endorsed supreme court nominee Brett Kavanaugh as a “mentor to women” privately told a group of law students last year that it was “not an accident” that Kavanaugh’s female law clerks all “looked like models” and would provide advice to students about their physical appearance if they wanted to work for him, the Guardian has learned.
A top professor at Yale Law School who strongly endorsed supreme court nominee Brett Kavanaugh as a “mentor to...

Publisher: The Intercept

Author:

18 Sep 2018

Attorney Sent Letter to Chuck Grassley and Dianne Feinstein Claiming Federal Court Employees Willing to Speak About Brett Kavanaugh

The top Republican and Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee were both approached in July by an attorney claiming to have information relevant to the confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court. The attorney claimed in his letter that multiple employees of the federal judiciary would be willing to speak to investigators, but received no reply to multiple attempts to make contact, he told The Intercept.
The top Republican and Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee were both approached in July by an attorney claiming...
17 Sep 2018

California professor Christine Blasey Ford, writer of confidential Brett Kavanaugh letter, speaks out about sexual assault allegation

Earlier this summer, Christine Blasey Ford wrote a confidential letter to a senior Democratic lawmaker alleging that Supreme Court nominee Brett M. Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her more than three decades ago, when they were high school students in suburban Maryland. Since Wednesday, she has watched as that bare-bones version of her story became public without her name or her consent, drawing a blanket denial from Kavanaugh and roiling a nomination that just days ago seemed all but certain to succeed.
Earlier this summer, Christine Blasey Ford wrote a confidential letter to a senior Democratic lawmaker alleging that...

Publisher: NBC News

Author:

8 Sep 2018

I knew Brett Kavanaugh during his years as a Republican operative. Don’t let him sit on the Supreme Court.

I used to know Brett Kavanaugh pretty well. And, when I think of Brett now, in the midst of his hearings for a lifetime appointment to the U.S. Supreme Court, all I can think of is the old "Aesop's Fables" adage: "A man is known by the company he keeps." And that's why I want to tell any senator who cares about our democracy: Vote no.
I used to know Brett Kavanaugh pretty well. And, when I think of Brett now, in the midst of his hearings for a lifetime...

Publisher: ThinkProgress

Author:

6 Sep 2018

Senate Republicans get caught in a major lie about the missing documents on Brett Kavanaugh

It’s objectively unprecedented for the Senate to be provided such a small fraction of the documents related to a Supreme Court nominee’s past work, as in the case of Judge Brett Kavanaugh. During Wednesday’s confirmation hearing, Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) caught Judiciary Committee Chairman Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) in an apparent lie about why that is.
It’s objectively unprecedented for the Senate to be provided such a small fraction of the documents related to a...
21 Jul 2018

States purged 16 million voters from the rolls before the 2016 election

States purged more than 16 million voters from the rolls between 2014 and 2016. That number, calculated in a new report published Friday by the Brennan Center for Justice, is a significant increase from previous years and an indication that large numbers of eligible voters are likely being disenfranchised by inaccurate and unlawful voter roll maintenance. The report comes just a few weeks after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of Ohio’s voter purge system, clearing the way for more states to move forward with the types of purges that disproportionately impact low-income and minority voters.
States purged more than 16 million voters from the rolls between 2014 and 2016. That number, calculated in a new report...

Publisher: NYTimes

Author:

11 Jul 2018

Showdown on a Trump Subpoena Could Overshadow Brett Kavanaugh’s Confirmation

Mr. Trump’s choice for the court, Judge  Brett M. Kavanaugh, has expressed strong support for executive power, hostility to administrative agencies and support for gun rights and religious freedom. Those are all conventional positions among conservative lawyers and judges. But there is one stance that sets Judge Kavanaugh apart, and it could not be more timely: his deep skepticism of the wisdom of forcing a sitting president  to answer questions in criminal cases.
Mr. Trump’s choice for the court, Judge  Brett M. Kavanaugh, has expressed strong support for executive power,...
30 Jun 2018

Justice Anthony Kennedy’s son led Deutsche Bank as it loaned Trump over $1 billion

The son of Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy  was leading a real-estate division of Deutsche Bank as it gave President Donald Trump over $1 billion in loans to finance his real-estate projects when other banks wouldn't, The New York Times reported Thursday.
The son of Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy  was leading a real-estate division of Deutsche Bank as it...

Publisher: NYTimes

Author:

29 Jun 2018

Inside the White House’s Quiet Campaign to Create a Supreme Court Opening

There were no direct efforts to pressure or lobby Justice Kennedy to announce his resignation on Wednesday, and it was hardly the first time a president had done his best to create a court opening. But in subtle and not so subtle ways, the White House waged a quiet campaign to ensure that Mr. Trump had a second opportunity in his administration’s first 18 months to fulfill one of his most important campaign promises to his conservative followers — that he would change the complexion and direction of the Supreme Court.
There were no direct efforts to pressure or lobby Justice Kennedy to announce his resignation on Wednesday,...

Publisher: NYTimes

Author:

28 Jun 2018

Supreme Court Ruling Delivers a Sharp Blow to Labor Unions

The Supreme Court dealt a major blow on Wednesday to organized labor. By a 5-to-4 vote, with the more conservative justices in the majority, the court ruled that government workers who choose not to join unions may not be required to help pay for collective bargaining.
The Supreme Court dealt a major blow on Wednesday to organized labor. By a 5-to-4 vote, with the more conservative...

Publisher: NYTimes

Author:

27 Jun 2018

Supreme Court Upholds Trump’s Travel Ban, Delivering Endorsement of Presidential Power

In a 5-to-4 vote, the court’s conservatives said the president’s statutory power over immigration was not undermined by his history of incendiary statements about the dangers he said Muslims pose to Americans. Mr. Trump, who has battled court challenges to the travel ban since the first days of his administration, hailed the decision to uphold his third version of an executive order as a “tremendous victory” and promised to continue using his office to defend the country against terrorism and extremism.
In a 5-to-4 vote, the court’s conservatives said the president’s statutory power over immigration was not...
22 May 2018

Neil Gorsuch’s first major opinion is a decision allowing bosses to steal wages from their workers

The Supreme Court held on Monday that employers can force their employees to sign away many of their rights to sue their employers. As a practical matter, Monday’s decision in Epic Systems v. Lewis will enable employers to engage in small-scale wage theft with impunity, so long as they spread the impact of this theft among many employees.
The Supreme Court held on Monday that employers can force their employees to sign away many of their rights to sue their...
5 Dec 2017

Supreme court allows enforcement of Trump travel ban as appeals proceed

The supreme court is allowing the Trump administration to fully  enforce a ban on travel to the United States by residents of six mostly Muslim countries. The justices, with two dissenting votes, said on Monday that the policy could take full effect even as legal challenges against it made  their way through the courts. The action suggests the high court could uphold the latest version of the ban, which Trump announced in September.
The supreme court is allowing the Trump administration to fully  enforce a ban on travel to the United States...
11 Oct 2017

The radical ideology of this Trump nominee makes even the most conservative SCOTUS justices uneasy

Justice Don Willett is charming. Best known outside legal circles for his Twitter feed, @JusticeWillett, the Texas Supreme Court justice — and now a Trump nominee to a federal appeals court — tweets largely apolitical commentary about Calvin and Hobbes, his children, and Oxford commas. This would all be well and good, if not for one other factor. This charming, intelligent, knowledgeable man also wants to dismantle much of the last 80 years of American law.
Justice Don Willett is charming. Best known outside legal circles for his Twitter feed, @JusticeWillett, the Texas...

Publisher: NYTimes

Author:

27 Jun 2017

Supreme Court Will Hear Travel Ban, Which Is Partly Reinstated

In a win for President Trump, the court said it would hear arguments in October on a case that sets the stage for a major ruling on presidential power. But those challenging the travel ban said the court’s opinion would protect the vast majority of people seeking to enter the United States to visit a relative, accept a job, attend a university or deliver a speech. The court said the travel ban could not be imposed on anyone who had “a credible claim of a bona fide relationship with a person or entity in the United States.”
In a win for President Trump, the court said it would hear arguments in October on a case that sets the stage for a...

Publisher: Vox

Author:

9 May 2017

Trump has just begun massively reshaping American appeals courts

President Trump is reportedly naming 10 nominees to federal courts  on Monday — and, intriguingly, at least two of the people he's appointing are likely contenders for the Supreme Court in the future. By putting Larsen (who’s only 48), Stras (42), and Thapar (48) on appeals courts, Trump is further burnishing their credentials for future Supreme Court vacancies. The most likely next vacancies are either Ruth Bader Ginsburg, an 84-year-old two-time cancer survivor who might need to retire for health reasons, and Anthony Kennedy, who’s now 80 and who former clerks told Reuters is pondering retirement this year or next, especially now that his former clerk Gorsuch is on the Court. Replacing either of them with Larsen, Stras, or Thapar would create a bloc of five solid conservatives (Roberts, Alito, Gorsuch, Thomas, and the new justice) who could consistently overrule the remaining liberal bloc.
President Trump is reportedly naming 10 nominees to federal courts  on Monday — and, intriguingly, at...
22 Apr 2017

With Gorsuch’s Vote, Supreme Court Allows Arkansas to Execute Ledell Lee

On Thursday night, Arkansas executed Ledell Lee—the state’s first  execution in 12 years. Lee’s final plea to the U.S. Supreme Court was rejected by a 5–4 vote. Justice Neil Gorsuch cast the deciding vote allowing Lee to die. It was his first recorded vote cast as a justice of the court. Lee insisted upon his innocence from the day of his arrest through the night of his execution. He implored Arkansas to let him take a DNA test and compare the results to DNA collected at the scene of the murder he allegedly committed, but the state refused.
On Thursday night, Arkansas executed Ledell Lee—the state’s first  execution in 12 years. Lee’s final plea to...
6 Apr 2017

Senate Republicans Deploy ‘Nuclear Option’ to Clear Path for Gorsuch

Senate Republicans changed longstanding rules on Thursday to clear the way for the confirmation of Judge Neil M. Gorsuch to serve on the Supreme Court, bypassing a precedent-breaking Democratic filibuster by allowing the nomination to go forward on a simple majority vote.In  deploying the so-called nuclear option, lawmakers are fundamentally  altering the way the Senate operates — a sign of the body’s creeping  rancor in recent years after decades of at least relative bipartisanship on Supreme Court matters.
Senate Republicans changed longstanding rules on Thursday to clear the way for the confirmation of Judge Neil M. Gorsuch...

Publisher: NYTimes

Author:

15 Mar 2017

Neil Gorsuch Has Web of Ties to Secretive Billionaire

Mr. Gorsuch, President Trump’s Supreme Court pick, represented the mogul Philip F. Anschutz as an outside counsel and has links to other executives at his companies. In 2006, Mr. Anschutz successfully lobbied Colorado’s lone Republican senator and the Bush administration to nominate Judge Gorsuch to the federal appeals court. And since joining the court, Judge Gorsuch has been a semiregular speaker at the mogul’s annual dove-hunting retreats for the wealthy and politically prominent at his 60-square-mile Eagles Nest Ranch.
Mr. Gorsuch, President Trump’s Supreme Court pick, represented the mogul Philip F. Anschutz as an outside counsel and...

Publisher: The Guardian

Author:

9 Feb 2017

Supreme court nominee Neil Gorsuch calls Trump judge attacks ‘demoralizing’

Neil Gorsuch, Donald Trump’s nominee to the supreme court, called the president’s tweet attacking the federal district court judge James Robart “disheartening and demoralizing”, his spokesman has confirmed. Gorsuch criticized Trump in a private meeting with Senator Richard Blumenthal on Wednesday.
Neil Gorsuch, Donald Trump’s nominee to the supreme court, called the president’s...

Publisher: Daily Mail

Author:

2 Feb 2017

Trump’s SCOTUS pick founded club called ‘Fascism Forever’

Supreme Court Justice nominee Neil Gorsuch founded and led a student group called the ‘Fascism Forever Club’ at  his elite high school, DailyMail.com can reveal. The  club was set up to rally against the ‘left-wing tendencies’ of his  professors while attending a Jesuit all-boys preparatory high school  near Washington D.C.
Supreme Court Justice nominee Neil Gorsuch founded and led a student group called the ‘Fascism Forever Club’ at...
9 Nov 2016

“Massive scale” shut-down of polling places in districts known for suppressing black voters

"Massive scale" shut-down of polling places in districts known for suppressing black voters. Almost half of all Texas counties in our sample closed polling places since Shelby, resulting in 403 fewer voting locations for the 2016 election than in past years. These closures come as the state’s voter ID law has become a leading example of voting discrimination since Shelby and include reductions in counties like Medina, Caldwell, Nueces, and Galveston-each with established records of discrimination and recent violations of the Voting Rights Act.
"Massive scale" shut-down of polling places in districts known for suppressing black voters. Almost half of all Texas...

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